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5 Cycling New Year’s Resolutions

Words by Tony

on 30/12/2015 15:55:25

New Year resolution marked in a diary for January 1; Shutterstock ID 62795851; PO: The Huffington Post; Job: The Huffington Post; Client: The Huffington Post; Other: The Huffington Post

1. Set Goals

Yellow measuring tape If you’re serious about your resolution, you need to set a goal you can measure.  If it’s a particularly challenging goal, chunk it down to small, achievable steps. It’s dispiriting when we work hard to achieve something big, but it always seems too far away to feel like you’re making progress.

Focus on the next step and ask yourself, “What can I do now?” Then, as you reach small milestones, celebrate them!

2. Ride New Places

hardknott passKeep your riding fresh and interesting, rather than repeating the same routes over and over.  You can use Strava’s “heat map” feature to see where other cyclists ride, or use web sites, such as https://www.mapmyride.com/gb/reading-eng/ 

If you are really feeling adventurous, book a trip to do some famous climbs in the Alps or Pyrenees or go to a mountain biking resort. 

Even a weekend away to Wales, Yorkshire or the Lake District will provide some interesting and challenging rides, such as Hardknott Pass, pictured here.

 

3. Substitute your Bike for your Car

bike-vs-car1You can often make local trips faster by bike than car – particularly when you take parking into account.  That old bike in your shed could be brought back to life with a rack and some mud guards, and you have an all weather shopping bike.  A couple large saddle bags will carry most of your normal shopping.

Commuting is an easy win.  Even if you just commute one way each day and combine it with public transport or driving the other direction, you’ll get “free” fitness and save money at the same time.

 

 

4. Find a Riding Partner and / or Introduce a Friend to Cycling

cycling with a friendIf you make a commitment to ride with someone else, you are far less likely to skip the ride.  It’s also fun to have a regular partner, so you can have a chat when you’re on quiet lanes, or when the trail widens, so you can ride two abreast.

Even if it’s raining, once you’re out, it never seems so bad.  And, as the saying goes for many sports, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

 

5. Ride a New Cycling Discipline

CyclocrossMixing up your riding is another way to keep things fresh and fun.  If you’re primarily a commuter, then make a point of getting out on the weekend to ride your mountain bike off road and without any traffic. 

Even if you’re a committed road cyclist, it’s disheartening to ride in the rain for a long training ride.  But if you’re riding off road, you’re often sheltered from the wind, and your concentrating on staying upright rather than worrying about the rain!  You may be able to convert your old road bike into a cyclocross bike with some long arm calliper brakes and chunkier tyres.